Hans in luck comes before sales – what customers need to know
Hans in luck wanted to go high – now the founder seems to be falling deep. The ambitious burger chain could even face the end.
- Hans im Glück is present in many major cities in Europe with its own shops – and competes with the top dogs McDonald’s and Burger King with gourmet burgers
- Founder Thomas Hirschberger has been trying out the fast food market since 2010 – and was successful
- There are now dozens of burger shops by Hans im Glück worldwide, and the chain is even represented in Singapore
- But now, luckily, Hans is about to sell, is there a threat of closure or at least a change of course?
- The founder says no – but the sale does not seem to be as easy as it is planned
- So everything turns out differently and the chain has to close at the end?
Eating burgers in the ambience between birch trunks: will it soon be over? The German burger chain Hans im Glück stands before the sale. This confirmed the burger chain of our editorial team.
For Hans-im-Glück founders Thomas Hirschberger it could be a bitter farewell to his chain founded in 2010. Thomas Hirschberger, founder and majority shareholder “is in very advanced discussions about the sale of his 90% stake to a new group of shareholders,” said Hans, fortunately to our editorial team.
Hans im Glück operates stores all over the world
For a long time, Hans im Glück was considered a German model for success. The company is built as a franchise, it has its 81 branches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland run by independent entrepreneurs. High growth rates were recorded annually; last year the chain achieved record results with external sales of EUR 147 million – an increase of 22.5 percent compared to the previous year.
And the success story should also be continued abroad. Fortunately, Hans has four branches in Singapore; the most recent was only opened last year. The chain also has three branches in Switzerland and one restaurant in Austria.
Do customers now have to adjust to the out of chain? Hans im Glück denies this. “If there is a sale, it will have no impact on the operation of the HANS IM GLÜCK burger grill restaurants,” said Hans im Glück.
The brand would remain intact: “The group of shareholders relies on continuity. The focus on gourmet burgers in our restaurants will remain in the future. ”The chain wants to remain true to its model of success and continue to differentiate itself with a higher quality from inexpensive fast food chains such as McDonalds or Burger King.
Selling is difficult
But the situation for sale is tricky. According to the “Handelsblatt”, the purchase price after deducting debts is around 26.1 million euros. However, there would have to be additional high payments, including to three managing directors, so that Hirschberger’s trust company AML Invest could even make a loss in the millions.
According to the media report, Hirschberger’s lawyers would therefore try to persuade beneficiaries to partially waive. Otherwise the deal could burst. Fortunately, Hans told our editorial team: “Mr. Hirschberger plans to close the change of ownership this week. The franchise partners are informed of the situation. “
Do the founders of BackWerk join?
Thomas Hirschberger owns 90 percent of the chain he founded in 2010, the other ten percent secured himself Gerd Buehler, who joined the company in 2018 with 6.5 million euros.
However, according to “Handelsblatt”, Bühler now has a right of first refusal – and is willing to do so, together with the founders of the self-service bakery chain BackWerk, Dirk Schneider and Hans-Christian LimmerTo make use of.
“The HANS IM GLÜCK brand and its growth have long inspired us. We would be happy to continue Thomas Hirschberger’s work and bring in our entrepreneurial expertise as new shareholders, ”Schneider and Limmer are quoted in a press release.
A potentially more lucrative business with financial investors therefore appears to be off the table for Hirschberger. On the other hand, if Hirschberger agrees to sell, there is a risk of losses.
Hans-im-Glück-founder also founded Sausalitos
For Hirschberger, it is already the second chain that the founder has to sell: in 2014, the entrepreneur separated from his cocktail bar chain Sausalitos, founded in 1994. However, the chapter of Mexican food and drinks for Hirschberger did not end there.
Sausalitos accused Hirschberger of poaching executives in 2017 and claimed millions in compensation in 2017. In the end, both sides agreed on a settlement, Hirschberger ceded his minority rights.
Long lawsuit with Peter Pane
For Hirschberger, it shouldn’t be the only litigation. In 2016 there was a split with the partner company Paniceus. Its managing director Patrick Junge quickly created the burger chain Peter Pane from his Hans Glück stores.
The rift had consequences: First Peter Pane sued Hans in luck, then it went the other way and Hans in luck went to court against Peter Pane. The two burger chains finally ended their dispute in 2017. Peter Pane continued to expand strongly, only last year the chain announced that it wanted to open up to ten new branches per year.
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